The Obit For Jess Haley

Jess L. Haley Jr.

Published in The Advocate on 12/9/2008

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his godly ones." Psalm 116:15. Jess L. Haley Jr. passed away Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 2008, in Meridian, Miss. He was born in Itta Bena, Miss., on Oct. 5, 1913, and was 95 at the time of his death.

Mr. Haley graduated from Humphreys High School in Itta Bena and received a degree in electrical engineering from Mississippi State University.

In college, he was an outstanding football and baseball player, and played professional baseball for the Memphis Chicks for two years after graduating college.

He began his professional engineering career at Memphis Light Gas and Water Co. prior to becoming superintendent of the Light and Water Department in Amory, Miss. In 1949, he moved to Clarksdale, Miss., where he became superintendent of the Water and Light Department.

In 1961, he opened his own consulting firm, Jess L. Haley & Associates, which he operated until his retirement. Mr. Haley served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher at Clarksdale Baptist Church.

He was a founder of Oakhurst Baptist Church in Clarksdale, where he served in a number of roles, including interim choir director, deacon, chairman of the building committee and teacher of the Golden Circle Sunday School class.

Mr. Haley is survived by a son, Jess L. Haley III, of Baton Rouge; daughter, Louise Haley Williamson and husband Jim Williamson, of Meridian; three granddaughters, Pegeen Haley Singley and her husband, Jim Singley, of Baton Rouge, Katherine Williamson Gannaway and her husband, Dea Gannaway, of Birmingham, Ala., and Laurel Williamson Asmus and her husband, Collin Asmus, of Hingham, Mass.; and great-granddaughters, Haley Downs, Madelyn Downs and Jesse Singley, all of Baton Rouge, and Margaret Preston Asmus, of Hingham. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jess L. and Maude Reese Haley, who were of Greenville, Miss.; first wife, Preston Kimbrough Haley; second wife, Shula Stevens Haley; and brother, John Reese Haley, who was of San Antonio.

Visitation will be on Thursday, Dec. 11, from noon until 2 p.m. at National Funeral Home, Clarksdale. Graveside service at 2:30 p.m. at Oakridge Cemetery, Clarksdale.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Oakhurst Baptist Church, 828 W. Second St., Clarksdale, MS 38614, Aldersgate Retirement Community, 6600 Poplar Springs Drive, Meridian, MS 39305 or First Baptist Church, 701 26th Ave., Meridian, MS 39301.